Home ° 2017 ~ 2018


China. The Canton Trade.

° Amoy ° Fuzhou, Pagoda Island ° Canton (Gunagzhou) ° Qingdao ° Hong Kong ° Fuzhou ° Macau ° Ningbo-Zhoushan ° Qingdao ° Peking (Bejing) ° Shanghai ° Tianjin ° Tientsin ° Whampoa ° Yangzhou ° Xiamen ° Pirates in the China Seas
° The Great Wall ° Mahjong ° Opium Wars ° Shaolin (Kung Fu) ° The Jews of Kaifeng (Henan Province)


March 19, 1871, North China Herald


The members of the Yacht Club held their annual meeting in the Masonic Hall on Wednesday evening. Present—Captains Roberts (Commodore of the Club) in the chair, Deslandes, Mooney, Batten, and Mackenzie, and Messrs. Vigulier, A.J. Little, T. McGrath, Dudfield, Haskell, Deighton-Brayaher, Blethen, Hill, J.R. Croal, Ashley, Morton, J. Ford, J. Wilson, treasurer and W.H. Devine, secretary.

The Chairman said the first business was to decide the day for holding the next Regatta. He would be glad to hear any suggestions, but was himself of opinion that Saturday the 1st of April would suit in regard to tide, and he would propose that it be held on that day.

MR. WILSON seconded.

MR. HILL thought sailing on a neap rather than a spring tide would bring out the qualities of the boats best. On the spring tide they all went up river in a lump and there was no racing till on the return. Thursday week would be a suitable day under this view, and being the day after the mail might be readily made a half holiday.

MR. DUDFIELD seconded this proposal.

The CHAIRMAN said the objection to neaps was that the boats would have to start very early in the morning.

Mr. GLENNIE thought Mr. Hill's suggestion a very good one, and one which would tell in favour of management among those who knew the river, as well as prove better the boats' qualities.

Mr. HASKELL said it was very well sailing on a neap tide if you were sure of returning the same day, but for his own part, having rather a slow craft, he would likely have to take two tides over it if Mr. Hill's idea were carried.

Mr. ASHLEY thought well of the suggestion, if it would not result in the boats having to return after dark. They needed all the assistance of the spring flood to get through their 35 miles course in time.

The CHAIRMAN said they would certainly lose the tide before they reached Minhong.

The amendment and motion were put to the meeting, when the latter was carried, fixing the 1st of April as the day.

Mr. BLETHEN had a motion to propose that the Yachts be divided into two classes, first and second, and that separate prizes be given to be competed for in each class. His impression was that there was quite a number of yacht owners who would not enter this year, unless there was a second class, and it would be better not to lose them. By having a second class, these could come in and hare a good race by themselves, and it would also be a means of increasing the aggregate of boats in the Club. There were quite a number who stood so little chance of winning in the one class as at present, that they would probably become tired of entering.

Mr. WILSON asked if Mr. Blethen would also pick out the boats he would put into second class.

Mr. GLENNIE said that was a matter which might be decided by classifying them according to length. But he thought they might have the privilege of competing in the first class if they cared to do so.

Mr. BLETHEN said that was his idea also.

Mr. HASKELL considered they might safely leave it to owners to classify their boats. No one would enter in the second if he thought his boat was at all fit to compete in the first, and even if it were attempted to enter a first class boat in the second, the owners might object to have it. In case of this, it would be better to leave it to the Committee to decide. He quite agreed with Mr. Blethen, that, if there were not two classes, more than half the boats would not enter for the Challenge Cup, and it was rather hard upon these owners that they should never have a chance of winning anything. He would therefore second the motion.

Mr. HILL admitted the necessity for obviating the disadvantages experienced by inferior boats at present, but thought it should be met by adopting the Brooklyn Club Rules, regulating the spread of canvas by the boat's measurement at water line. At present the system pursued was against the building of handsome models and safe and comfortable boats. They were running after great scows of boats, and all trying who should have the biggest mast and greatest spread of canvas, regardless of appearance or of safety. The system he could only characterize as one of sheer brute force.

Mr. WILSON remarked that the Falls Cup was to be run for under the Brooklyn Rules referred to by Mr. Hill, and would therefore give a chance to the boats which might be left out at the race for the Challenge. He thought it would be preferable to let the Committee handicap boats according to what they had done than to institute two classes.

Mr. GLENNIE said it was very likely owners would be unwilling to have their boats classed second.

Mr. HASKELL did not believe there would be any trouble about that, judging from the opinions he had heard expressed in conversation.

Mr. ASHLEY could state, with reference to the remarks that had fallen about sailing rules, that the best races in New York were always got out of the measurement of canvas principle laid down in the Brooklyn rules, boats then racing within a very few seconds of each other.

Mr. HASKELL said, if there was to be a second class they might make the rule as to sailing for themselves, but the meeting could not adopt the canvas measurement principle for all the events.

Mr. HILL did not expect that the Challenge Cup would be run for under such conditions, having been already partly won under certain other conditions, but thought that rather than divide the boats into classes, between which it would be very difficult to draw the line, measurement of canvas should be adopted generally.

The CHAIRMAN said the way would be that those who were classed second should not run for the Challenge Cup. Mr. HILL did not see that. He had a boat which might be classed second, but which he would certainly enter for the Challenge Cup for the mere pleasure of the thing.

Mr. BLETHEN said he did not intend his motion to exclude a second class boat from entering with the firsts, but that if it did so it should be debarred from entering with second class boats at the same meeting.

Mr. LITTLE thought if the boats were classed each owner should elect which class he was to go into, become registered there, and only run for its prizes.

Mr. HASKELL did not agree with Mr. Little's remark. The proposition for classification was only put for the present regatta, and there was no reason why, if a boat ran second class for this meeting, it should be required to keep to it. A man might Bell his boat and the purchaser go to expense to improve her sailing qualities, when he should be at liberty to transfer her to the higher class.

The CHAIRMAN thought owners should now declare their intention with regard to classing, as they appeared to be all present, and it could then be seen whether there would be sufficient to warrant giving a prize.

Mr. HASKELL thought they should first see what they could give by way of prize, and when owners saw what inducement there was, they would decide.

Mr. WILSON said he had only a rough statement of the accounts to lay before the meeting, as he had been acting only as interim treasurer. The total collections had been $662, for Club entrance fees and entrances at races. An amount of $140 remained to be collected. The disbursements had been $354.37, and the balance to credit was $447.63. Besides these amounts, there was an amount of Tls. 350, collected for the Challenge Cup.

Mr. HASKELL moved, Mr. Blethen seconding, that the accounts be passed.

The CHAIRMAN asked the conditions attaching to Mr. Falls' Cup, whether it might not go to the yachts in the second class.

Mr. WILSON said it could not be so given, but must be run for by all, under reservation as to measurement of canvas.

After some conversation, Mr. ASHLEY proposed, and Mr. HILL seconded, that $50 be set aside for a prize, from the funds.

Mr. HASKELL proposed, and Mr. BLETHEN seconded, that three boats should run or no race; and Mr. BLETHEN proposed, and Mr. ASHLEY seconded, that the regulations should be according to the Brooklyn rules before mentioned both agreed to. The other races, for house-boats, ships' boats, &c., were left to the Committee to arrange.

Mr. BLETHEN asked if there was a rule in the Club that last boat should pay first boat's entrance.

The CHAIRMAN said there was no rule, but it was sometimes arranged so. Mr. BLETHEN said he would then propose that the first boat should pay the last boat's entrance. It was bad enough to be last in a race, without having to pay the entrance of the winner.

Mr. WILSON said the struggle would then be who should be last, among those who saw they had no chance of being first.

Mr. ASHLEY proposed as an amendment that the first boat be made to buy her own cup. (Laughter.)

A short discussion then ensued about entrance fees, and the Secretary said it was decided at last 30th of March meeting that an outsider might sail a boat for an owner belonging to the Club on payment of $10. The following new members were then elected Captain Barton, Messrs. Vial, Morse, Mclvor, Ford, Crofts, J. P. Croal, and Baker. Captains Roberts, Barton and Batten, and Messrs. Blethen and Ashley were elected the Committee.

The CHAIRMAN intimated his retirement from the commodoreship as the vice had also retired, it became necessary to elect both. He proposed Mr. Viguier as commodore.

Capt. MOONBY seconded.

Mr. VIGUIER said as he had to be away from Shanghai frequently, he feared he could not attend to the duties as he would wish. Mr. HASKELL then proposed Mr. Little as commodore, with Mr. Viguier as vicecommodore. 

Mr. HILL seconded.

Mr. LITTLE viewed the offer as a very great compliment, but feared he had not sufficient nautical knowledge to fill the position properly. The CHAIRMAN said nautical knowledge was not the only thing necessary. They required some one to look after the -interests of the Club generally, and Mr. Little was well qualified to do that. Mr. LITTLE said he would do his best for it ; and the election was unanimously approved. Mr. DUDPIELD was then appointed secretary and Mr. Wilson treasurer.

Shanghai.The Bund. Mr. LITTLE proposed a vote of thanks to the retiring commodore for his geniality and kindness in that position, and an expression of their great regret at his resignation. There were very few who would take such an interest in the affairs of the Club as he had done.

The CHAIRMAN said he felt highly honoured by their vote of thanks. As he left the Yacht Club in a flourishing condition he hoped it would continue so. The meeting then terminated.

January 29, 1896, Echo, London, United Kingdom


A considerable robbery of some priceless porcelain from the Imperial Palace at Pekin has recently come to light. It is alleged that over 300 large and small pieces of green jade, peach blow, sang de boeuf, rose pink egg shell, black hawthorn, and other rarities are missing.

The principal curio shops in Pekin are said to have been closed, and their owners arrested, while a number of pieces have been recovered from foreign collectors at Tientsin and Pekin.

A well-known Pekin dealer who has been in Shanghai for about a month has left for the north, overland, at the summons of tie authorities, to answer for his subordinates. One execution is already reported.

August 27, 1896, Anita Tribune, Anita, Iowa, U.S.A.

Has Made a Great Advance in the Cotton Industry

Shanghai.The China Sea.The prospects of a new industry in Shanghai has been made the subject of report to the State Department by Cousul General Jernigan at that place. It is called the Shanghai Old Mill Company which proposes to manufacture oil from cotton seed. It is, the consul general says, the logical result of cotton mills at Shanghai and the consequent stimulus given the cultivation of cotton in China. Since 1890 there have been forty-five new cotton manufacturing establishments erected in Shanghai and now in successful operation.

The belief of those starting the proposed new industry is that oil can be extracted at a saving of 15 per cent, over the native system. As the area suitable for cultivation of cotton in China is almost as limitless us the supply of labor, and labor being very cheap, there can be, Jeruigan says, no doubt that China will soon be one of the great cotton producing countries of the world, and this product will command serious consideration in all calculations with reference to the cotton market.

Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800The Silk Road of the Sea.
John N. Miksic
Shanghai.The Silk Road of the Sea.This book synthesizes 25 years of archaeological research to reconstruct the 14th-century port of Singapore in great detail. The picture is of a port where people processed raw materials, used money, and had specialized occupations. Within its defensive wall, the city was well organized and prosperous, with a cosmopolitan population that included residents from China, other parts of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. Illustrated, with more than 300 maps and color photos, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea presents Singapore's history in the context of Asia's long-distance maritime trade between 1300 and 1800. The author is Associate Professor, Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, and Head of the NSC Archaeology Unit, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Religions of the Silk Road: Premodern Patterns of GlobalizationThe Silk Road. 
Richard Foltz
Drawing on the latest research and scholarship, this newly revised and updated edition of Religions of the Silk Road explores the fabled cities and exotic peoples that make up the colonial era while examining how cultural traditions also travelled to the people encounted on the Silk Road. The author, Richard Foltz, is a cultural historian specializing in the Iranian world. He has also worked as a musician, film critic, and travel writer. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has taught at Brown, Columbia, and the University of Florida. His work has appeared in over a dozen languages."This brief but tightly packed book is a wonderful counterweight to romanticized notions of the so-called Silk Road . . . Foltz masterfully deals with disparate histories from one point of the compass to its seeming opposite, while weaving a wonderfully lucid story of merchants, pilgrims, and missionaries." -- The Journal of Asian History

When America First Met China
An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

Eric Jay Dolin
Shanghai.Ancient China collides with America in this tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships. Best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin traces our fraught relationship with China back to its roots: the unforgiving nineteenth-century seas that separated a rising naval power from a ancient empire. It is a prescient fable for our time, one that continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. The furious trade in furs, opium, and bêche-de-mer -- a rare sea cucumber delicacy -- might have catalyzed America's emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe. Peopled with fascinating characters -- from Robert Morris: Financier of the American RevolutionRobert Morris, Financier of the American Revolution. to the The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong: Splendors of China's Forbidden City, who considered foreigners inferior beings -- this saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines becomes a must-read for any fan of Nathaniel Philbrick's MayflowerMayflower. or Mark Kurlansky's Cod.Cod, the fish that changd the world. Two maps, and 16 pages of color and 83 black-and-white illustrations.

The Explorer's Eye: First-Hand Accounts of Adventure and Exploration
Fergus Fleming, Annabel Merullo, Michael Palin
During the eighteenth century, exploration entered a new phase: many more explorers were motivated by scientific inquiry rather than greed. Their job was to open new lands, but also to investigate the globe's mysteries. They were expected to make a full record of everything they encountered, and include pictures as well as words. Combining firsthand accounts with original images, The Explorer's Eye gives insight into who these people were, how they operated, and, above all, what they saw. Here you have Alexander von Humboldt braving the electric eels of South Africa, Robert Peary explaining the rigors of polar travel (and his wife giving her own slant), Umberto Nobile lamenting the loss of his Zeppelin in an ice floe, Jacques Cousteau examining the planet from under the waves.

1421:  The Year China Discovered America 
China.China.Gavin Menzies
On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to "proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas." When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in the long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. And they colonized America before the Europeans, transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

Kindly Kindly Donate.


DALevy @


Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

Please inform us if you link from your site. Please do NOT link from your site unless your site specifically relates to immigration in the 1800s, family history, maritime history, international seaports, and/or California history.